Facts & Fiction of Facebook for Recruiting

One of the very interesting debates at SRCONF 2012 was the usage of Facebook for Recruiting, and that made the morning panel discussion about Social Recruiting on Facebook very engaging.

Stephane Le Viet, CEO & Founder at Work4 Labs and Steven Hewitt, Human Resources Director at Lumesse shared thoughts about Social Recruiting on Facebook. The panel moderator, Alan Whitford, asked them specific questions, as well as some questions from the audience.

Question from Alan:  We hear some people say that we do not want to mix Facebook and work together, because Facebook is our personal joy. While some employers might say why wouldn’t we use Facebook for our recruitment and go where the people are? Why would you think that Facebook is the future for recruitment?

Stephane (Work4 Labs): Sometimes there is a misconception that Facebook is a sourcing tool, however we do not think of it as a sourcing tool. We think about Facebook as a communication channel. In my point of view the main challenge that companies face these days regarding their Facebook page is content, and to make the content attractive for people so that they come back and like the page. Moreover we see jobs as a dynamic source of content that would drive people back to the page.

Question from Alan: You are helping the companies use the technology to recruit. What did you see as challenges yourself?

Steven (Lumesse): We made a classic mistake with technology, because our cooperation with Work4labs went pretty well and we pressed the button and waited for the things to happen and of course it didn’t. For us as a b2b we did not create that internal marketing that drives the activity of the followers.

Question from Alan: Lumesse is a new brand; you might have had some challenges for recruiting people that you wanted to recruit as they were not familiar with your brand. Does this mean that you needed to use a different platform to reach them?

Steven (Lumesse): We are one year old as a brand, but for us it is interesting that a lot of HR managers are paying attention to employee engagement and now I have an engagement measurement. I can see how our own employees participate in the company’s Facebook page. For me the employee referral rate is the measurement of the success of our Facebook page not the number of clicks, and the content is another measurement for analysing results.

Question from Alan: Is what Steven just explained a typical approach for the companies that start working with you, or most of them are more sophisticated when they first come to you?

Stephane (Work4 Labs): What we just talked about is what typically happens. Companies start using Facebook and post jobs in their Facebook page and nothing actually happens; there is a need to use third party channels such as Monster or LinkedIn to promote these pages.

Question from Alan: We might expect that Lumesse as a starter brand might not have a lot of fans in Facebook is it true?

Steven (Lumesse): No, we have to rely on internal marketing, and driving the message with our own employees, because our own employees are the ones who can help us in this path.

Question from Audience: What would you say to someone like me who is reluctant to use Facebook to recruit (I want to transfer my audience in Facebook to my website), I think for them to apply for the jobs in Facebook is kind of entering in their intimacy?

Stephane (Work4 Labs): The way we think about posting jobs in Facebook and the link to the career site is actually very strong. We really don’t want to replace the career site; it is actually the matter of taking 3 points into account:

  • Facebook mobile usage is increasing, and it gives the audience the ability to view the job on Facebook and save it. A lot of career sites are not mobile compatible, therefore the ability to view the job using mobile and sharing it with others is one of the advantages of Facebook.
  • Your own employees can share a job (referrals).
  • We see that a lot of people look at your company’s page in the middle of watching photos in Facebook, so they can actually save it and take a look at it later. Moreover it should be added that posting jobs in the company’s Facebook page does not interrupt people’s session in Facebook.

Question from Alan: What about Lumesse, do candidates apply for jobs in Facebook or your career site?

Steven (Lumese): On our career site. For us we keep the content in Facebook deliberately light compared to our career site.

Question from Alan: Would you say that Work4 Labs clients are measuring costs and relating costs to their success?

Stephane (Work4 Labs): Absolutely yes, there are things that don’t work very well on Facebook and there are things that work well on Facebook. The first step in using Facebook for recruitment is to understand your goal. Is your goal to get more and more referrals? Is your goal to fill out some hard to fill positions? Once you figure that out the strategy comes naturally.

Question from Audience: Is using Facebook recruitment going to drive the organisations to improve their career site much quicker than they are doing it right now?

Steven (Lumesse): Yes, I agree with you.

Question from Audience: How do you know about the candidates’ experience of your recruitment on Facebook? Have you done any research about that?

Stephane (Work4 Labs): In one of the big organisations, the candidates liked the interface a lot, and the feedback is shown, moreover on ads the feedback is actually better than you expect.

Steven (Lumesse): The answer is no, I have not done that yet. For us it is more employee referral driven, what I am getting now is employees saying that if you want us to share the page with our network when are you going to let us manage the content with you?

Question from Audience: I find it difficult to source candidates from Facebook platforms such as BranchOut. Why do you think it is not working well?

Stephane (Work4 Labs): The main thing that does not work in there is that there is just no interest from the users to have a second professional network. The reason why LinkedIn is powerful is that from the employees’ perspective is beneficial because they show what they have done and for employers it is a good data base.

However LinkedIn does not cover the people who work in the store or young graduates, so for them it is much more posting job driven and these people do not like something like LinkedIn thus there is no use for BranchOut, which is a copy of LinkedIn.


Editor’s note: Work4 Labs and Lumesse were sponsors of SRCONF 2012.

Photo credits: Mona Szyperski / www.flex-base.com

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